Sanctuary

Adam Worth and Nikola Tesla appear on a special Tuesday episode of ‘Sanctuary’.

A spider-bot roams the halls of the Sanctuary. It enters Helen’s room and crawls on her bed. She snatches it before it can attack her. Helen, Will, Henry, and Bigfoot meet in Henry’s computer lab. They review security footage and discover the bot visited Will and Henry before being caught by Helen. The spider-bot “bites” its target and “downloads” parts of a person’s memories. The victim is left unharmed and unaware of the intrusion.

Henry thinks all of the sudden glitches in the computer system allowed the spider-bot to escape. The glitches are being caused by a hidden sector in the computer system. Henry does not know how anyone could have hidden an entire sector of the computer system he built from him.

There is someone at the front door. It’s Nikola Tesla.

Tesla explains that everything should have been fine if Henry didn’t poke around the computer system. When Tesla helped Helen find the location of Adam Worth, Tesla used the spider-bot on Adam and patched the bot into Henry’s computer system. When he was done, Tesla quarantined the special program he used.

Everything was fine until Helen had Henry move some files to a new system. To move the files, the firewall was down for a less than a second. But it is no ordinary virus that escaped Tesla’s quarantine. Tesla used a Praxian organic nanite. Because it is organic, it is self-aware and wants to evolve, which is why the nanite released the spider-bot—it wants to learn from the people in the Sanctuary.

Helen Magnus enters the computer world

Tesla and Helen brainstorm and come up with a way to solve the problem. They need to learn the nanite’s language; they need to enter the virtual world.

Helen and Tesla enter the computer’s realm. At first, they are not sure the process worked. They are in the same room as before, but Will, Henry, and Bigfoot are gone. When they leave the room, they realize the computer has built the Sanctuary, but not exactly. The elevator opens, and they almost fall off a cliff. Rooms shift and change. When Helen thinks they will enter Will’s office, they actually enter a large room that seems to have no end. Someone runs towards them.

Adam Worth greets them, “Welcome to my home.”

It is not the actual Adam Worth. The traces of Adam’s memories from the spider-bot have taken his form, but he’s not complete because he doesn’t know his story. Adam takes them to another room where a Praxian diagram is the interface for the system. Tesla manipulates the virtual Praxian image and believes he has quarantined the nanite. His actions in the virtual world should have the same results in the real world. Adam, who is being very polite, does not want to see them go, but he escorts them to where they entered.

Helen and Tesla return to the real world. Henry has the nanite in an isolated system. Helen goes back to bed. Everything is all wrapped up.

Or is it?

Helen is asleep in her room. She wakes up and sees Adam there. Tesla bursts in. They are still in the virtual world. Adam is lonely; he does not want them to leave. He wants to know their stories and about where they come from.

The scene changes. Helen is chained to her seat, and Tesla is chained to a pillar. They discuss what is real and what reality is. Tesla tries to convince Adam that his reality is inside the computer and how they belong somewhere else, but Adam is not persuaded. Adam grabs Helen’s face and draws out memories of Ashley, Helen’s daughter. Ashley appears before them. Helen is distraught, but she knows Ashley is not real. Adam slaps Helen; she can’t hide in his world. Helen’s memories surface, and Adam learns Helen tried to kill him three times, succeeded in killing him, and killed his daughter. Adam chokes Helen.

In the real world, Helen’s vitals start to drop.

Tesla vamps out, breaks his chains, and attacks Adam. Adam vamps out too, “My world, my rules.”

In the real world, Will injects Helen with adrenaline.

Back in the virtual world, Helen breaks her chains and knocks Adam across the room. Because of Adam’s control of the virtual world, Will and Henry cannot pull them out. However, Adam does not have complete control.

Helen and Tesla make their way to the library. Helen realizes that they need to interact with the actual system and not any of Adam’s creations. Helen pushes the Praxian diagram out of the way and reveals the virtual version of Henry’s computer lab. With Adam knocked out, Helen thinks they have enough time to reboot the system from the inside. Tesla is not thrilled by this plan; if the system is rebooted with them inside, they might not make it out. But Helen is willing to take this risk. If the nanite breaks out of the Sanctuary’s computer system, it could destroy the vital computer systems of governments, banks, and other institutions. Before they can reboot the system, Adam finds them and knocks them out with an electric shock.

In the real world, Helen and Tesla are brain dead; their bodies are fine, but their brains only exist in binary form. Henry thinks if he could build a device based on the Praxian one that helped bring him back, he will be able to bring Helen and Tesla back. Henry and Bigfoot work on the device.

Back inside, Helen and Tesla wake up. They are in a room with Adam, who has found the camera feed to the outside world. Adam remembers what it is like to be alive, so he wants a body. He wants the nanite to break free, ruin other systems, so he can take advantage of the situation.

Since Adam can manipulate and interact with the camera feed, Helen has Tesla use his electromagnetic abilities to manipulate a hard drive in the real world so they can send a message.

Will gets Helen’s message and shows it to Henry. The message is in Praxian, but Henry has a program that can help him translate. They learn that Helen and Tesla are trapped in the virtual world by Adam Worth.

Back in the virtual world, Adam cuts off the message, but Tesla realizes that there is a power spike when Adam multitasks. Tesla puts the message back up, and Adam cuts it off again. At the right moment, Tesla “overloads” Adam, trapping him. Helen and Tesla leave the room. They know Adam will break free of their trap, so they have to act fast.

Will enters the virtual world. Helen finds him. Tesla finds the nanite. Adam finds Tesla. Will and Helen enter. With everyone in the same room, Adam forces Helen to choose who he will take over—Will or Tesla. Adam accuses Helen of enjoying playing God, so he wants to see her squirm. Helen says she can’t let personal feelings get in the way of her decision. Will protests. Helen chooses Will because he is young, strong, and has untainted blood. Adam takes over Will’s consciousness; he looks like Will, but acts like Adam. Will is gone.

Adam relishes the moment. The world will bow down before him. Adam plans to leave Helen and Tesla trapped. Adam tries to leave, but can’t, which confuses him. Helen brings out the nanite. She is in control. She was able to quarantine the nanite.

Helen and Tesla return to the real world. We learn Will was never in danger; the part of him taken by the spider-bot entered the virtual world, not his actual consciousness. Henry was able to put the nanite in an isolated drive. Helen does not want it destroyed, because the nanite has information about Praxis before it was destroyed. Since Praxis is being rebuilt, she wants to give the nanite to the rebuilders. Bigfoot volunteers to take the nanite to Praxis.

Later, Tesla and Helen drink wine. Curious, Tesla wants to know what Helen’s decision would have been if she was not control. Between him and Will, what would her true choice have been? Helen responds, “Do you really need to ask?” She drinks her wine and says nothing more.

Having the key part of the action, Helen putting the nanite in quarantine and seizing control of the virtual world from Adam, off camera is the weakest part of an otherwise strong episode. The action is quick, and the performances, as usual, keep very technical dialogue flowing and sounding natural. Watching Robin Dunne as Will acting like Adam was a hilarious highlight, and the interactions between Amanda Tapping’s Helen and Jonathon Young’s Tesla is always a delight.

‘Chimera’ will air again this Friday, December 2. The next new episode of ‘Sanctuary’ will air Friday, December 9 on Syfy.

If you missed the previously aired episode, be sure to read our ‘Sanctuary: Fugue ‘ recap.